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The Pharmacology course provides second year medical students with a comprehensive curriculum that is current, and requried of the undifferentiated physician, as well as preparation for the USMLE Step 1 examination. The course is built around lectures, problem sets, and discussions. The primary delivery mechanism will be through interactive lectures. Some learning sessions will employ a "Flipped classroom" approach, in which students study a lecture topic before class, and the classroom time is utilized for solving application-based problems (questions), rather than presenting information in a traditional lecture style.

The course will begin with lectures on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Pharmacokinetics is the study of how drugs enter the body (routes of adminitsration and absorption), are distributed, metabolized, and eliminated, as well as the duration of drug action. Pharmacodynamics is concerned with the relationships between the concentration of drugs at their sites of action, and the magnitude of effect that is achieved.  A further aspect of pharmacodynamics is a consideration of the mechanism of drug action, the most basic aspect of pharmacology. 

Simply putting, pharmacokinetics is "what the body does to a drug", and pharmacodynamics is "what a drug does to the body". A good understanding of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics allows a curious and thoughtful physician to build a rational framework for understanding the optimal and individualized use of drugs.

After these general considerations the course progresses in an organ systems-based curriculum style in which drugs are described in relation to a variety of relevant clinical conditions. Within each area of pharmacology one prototype drug is emphasized and described in considerable detail. Other drugs in the same category are not covered in equal detail, but major differences with the prototypical drugs and the significance of the differences are emphasized.

Most pharmacology lectures are closely aligned with the content covered in Pathology and Pathophysiology, providing an integrated curriculum with the goal of presenting a more complete picture of clinical conditions, and the drugs used to treat them. Some selected topics will be presented as "integrated sessions," where a team-teaching approach involving Pathology, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology faculty members will be utilized.

Sandeep Bansal Course Director
Prof. Sandeep Bansal
MBBS, MD Carle Forum
611 W. Park
Urbana, IL 61801
Sayee Anakk Faculty
Dr. Sayee Anakk
PhD Medical Sciences Building
506 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Catherine Christian Faculty
Prof. Catherine Christian
(217) 244-8230
Medical Sciences Building
506 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Auinash Kalsotra Faculty
Dr. Auinash Kalsotra
PhD Medical Sciences Building
506 S. Mathews Ave.
Urbana, IL 61801
Yanyan Wang Faculty
Prof. Yanyan Wang
Rajul Gandhi Instructor
Dr. Rajul Gandhi
Donald Briskin Guest Lecturer
Prof. Donald Briskin
PhD (Professor Emeritus)
Textbooks and Materials

1)  "Required" textbook

Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, edi 13th.

Authors:  G Katzung, Susan B Masters, Anthony J Trevor. Publisher: McGraw-Hill

This book covers pharmacology topics in adequate depth appropriate for this course and for the preparation of USMLE step 1 examination.  Usually a new edition comes every two years. 

2) "Recommended" textbook

Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews., edi 6th.

Authors: Karen Whalens, Richard Finkel, Thomas A Panavelil. Publisher: Wolter Kluwer

A good review book that many students have found very helpful. Strengths include useful and easy to understand illustrations.  On the other hand, it is a review book and does not have the depth of the more traditional textbooks.

3) "Recommended" textbook

Principles of Pharmacology: The pathophysiologic basis of drug therapy, edi 4th.

Authors: David E Golan and Armen H Tashjian Jr. Publisher: Wolter Kluwer, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

This book provides an integrative view of topics. 

4) "Reference" textbook

Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, edi 12th.  

Edited by Laurance Brunton, Bruce Chabner, Bjorn Knollman. Publisher: McGraw-Hill

This is by far the most comprehensive text available.  It is an excellent reference source in virtually every area that will be covered in this course. We suggest to use this textbook only for reference purposes at this stage. There is now an online optional companion to Goodman and Gilman which is updated periodically. 


Web-based Resources.  There are a variety of resources available on-line, including the the following free from the UIC library.  You can reach these by going to You need a UIC ID and password to access these resources.

1. Goodman and Gilman on-line is available on the AccessMedicine link.

2. Katzung on-line is also available on the AccessMedicine link.

3. The “Clinical Pharmacology” link takes you to the Gold Standard Clinical Pharmacology information and PIER.  This site has up-to-date concise monographs of drugs which include a description of the drug, mechanism of action, pharmacokinetics, adverse effects, and other information.


Assessment Description Percent
Exam 1 09/06/2016 19%
Exam 2 10/03/2016 19%
Exam 3 10/31/2016 8%
Exam 4 11/18/2016 14%
Exam 5 12/12/2016 4%
Exam 6 01/17/2017 3%
Exam 7 02/13/2017 15%
Exam 8 03/13/2017 18%

A Pharmacology NBME Subject "Shelf" Examination will be administered on 04/17/2017. The results of this examination will be FORMATIVE, and will have NO impact on student grades. A detailed report from NBME will be distribued to each student taking the exam, showing strengths and weaknesses in relation to a national mean.

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